It wouldn't let me post in the "How To's" so here it is:
It’s not often a have a chance to contribute something that might help someone else. I just completed the Heater Box Rebuild with the help of this excellent post - http://www.starquest...howtopic=131748
This is for an ’87 Conquest, left hand drive. Don’t know if the solutions are universal.
GLOVE COMPARTMENT BRACE
The standard procedure for removing the brace below the glove compartment seems to be to bend the right end return to get it off the two small studs that locate it. It is not necessary to bend it if you don’t want to.
Glove compartment door and brace.
Remove the phillips head trim screw at the bottom of the dashboard leg below the right side heater-A/C vent
With the passenger door open find the smooth color coordinated plastic panel on the side of the dashboard facing the door. It is held by two plastic hinge hooks on the upper firewall side and lower firewall side. The passenger side is held in place by two spring clip pins. Reach up behind the right side dashboard leg and there is an access hole you can get your fingers in to push out the passenger seat side of the plastic panel. Once the pins are free rotate the plastic panel, like opening the passenger door, and pull it toward where you would be standing if you were getting ready to get in the passenger side of the car. Pictures below.
Access hole to push panel out. Can also pry out panel with a small screwdriver from the outside.
Access panel open.
Look in the resulting open area and remove the 2 - 10mm hex head bolts.
Take the bottom of the right hand dashboard leg and CAREFULLY pull it toward the passenger seat far enough so that it can be pushed to the right (toward the passenger door) and let it rest against the front door jamb – looking straight at it, about 1/3 will be outside the car and 2/3 will be inside.
From the inside, push the plate that contains the 2 small screw studs to the right and you can get the right side of the dashboard brace free from the studs.
To keep from mashing up the end of the air duct that the duct behind the brace fits into, remove the 2 black electrical components mounted to the left side of the brace. One has a medium size blue connector and the other a small white connector. It can be done now or before reinstalling the brace. To remove them before removing the brace –
There is a hole in the firewall side of the brace. Inside this hole is a phillips head screw that screws into the bracket that holds the 2 electrical components. Mine was so tight I couldn’t unscrew it until after I had the brace off and had to mangle the end of the air duct. If possible, undo the screw until the bracket is free. It requires SEVERAL turns. When the bracket is free, grab the thread end of the screw so that it can’t fall into the blind track of the brace. I don’t know if it can but it looked like there was a possibility. I wadded up a small piece of painter’s masking tape and shoved it in the hole against the screw head so it couldn’t drop out.
HEATER BOX – FIREWALL BRACE NUT & REMOVAL WITHOUT REMOVING THE EVAPORATOR BOX
Even if you didn’t care about bending the end of the dashboard brace that step needs to be done to be able to get the heater box out.
Remove the 12 mm phillips/hex head bolt at 12 o’clock. Remove the 12 mm hex head bolt at 3 o’clock. Unbend the flexible clamp holding the side vent duct hose and wiring. Remove the air duct hose – it’s a press snap fit at each end.
Remove the screw that holds the 2 ends of the band clamp around the blower box/evaporator box together. Try to rotate the clamp a small amount by pulling down on the firewall side end and pushing up on the passenger seat end. The band clamp has a hinge on the top firewall side corner of the ducts that interferes with reaching the nut you want access to. Try to get that hinge a little lower and more toward the firewall.
Using a small flashlight look above the actuator (round can) and under the edge of the dashboard. Way in the back is a one piece nut and washer attached to a bolt that comes through the firewall. It takes 2 extensions and a 12 mm socket to get to it. By the time all that is hooked together it’s like trying guide the end of a 16” piece of hose but it can be done! Use a 1/8” extension and socket – I couldn’t get it done with 1/4". Then hook either a 1/8” or 1/4" extension to that. You SHOULD be able to guide it onto the nut. When I got the nut loose it just fell down to the floor, so I don’t THINK you have to worry about losing it. It may take SEVERAL attempts to mate the socket with the nut but keep trying.
Once the nut is off and the bracket is free from the stud you will have to take the chance of sacrificing the band clamp around the duct. I was able to reuse mine – you’re result might be different. Rotate the blower box clockwise as far as it’s willing to go. This is where previously dealing with the glove compartment brace gives you a little more room to maneuver. If the right side dash leg has slipped back inside the car return it to the 1/3 – 2/3 position. Take a fairly substantial pair of pliers and grab the end of the band clamp closest to you. Twist it clockwise (when looking up from the floor) so that you can get the edge to fit between the actuator and the evaporator box and up over the top of the actuator. The blower box should move around a fair amount but there is a return leg pointing toward the passenger seat at the bottom of the back brace, below where the nut was and that hinge is not going to let it past. Look between the two duct pieces and find the small metal tab on the inside of the firewall side of the band clamp. It’s bent over toward the blower duct. Straighten it out so it doesn’t cause a problem. There is another one, either on the passenger seat end or the top (I forget) but it will be taken care of soon enough. Take your substantial pliers and grab the lower end of the band clamp. Take the top end of the band clamp and try to guide it between the firewall and the firewall side of the ducts while pulling (pretty hard) on the pliers end. The band clamp will come out and will look a little mangled. Worst case is, you can use some thin insulation and quality furnace tape instead of the band clamp when reinstalling. I reused the band clamp, straightening it as much as possible after getting it back into position and while there is a little air leakage it’s leaking into the passenger compartment, so nothing is really lost.
Now that the band clamp is gone there is enough room to remove the blower box. Rotate it clockwise as much as possible. You will have to jiggle it and twist it around but when it’s in the correct position it will just drop free.
Before re-installation cut off the return leg on the bottom of the back brace. I also radiused out the top part of the brace above the hole so there wasn’t so much material in the way of the nut/washer/socket.
Re-assembly is pretty much the opposite of disassembly except you are unlikely to be able to re-bend the duct clamps on the inside of the band clamp. They can be cut off, pressed flat or left as is. I left mine sticking out and they either stayed in the space between the duct ends or smashed down against the ducts.
Getting the 12mm nut/washer back on is about as bad as it was removing it. I tried several times and just could not get it started with the 1/8” socket, 1/8” extension and 1/4" extension. BTW tape the nut to the socket or use a socket magnet so you don’t drop the nut every 2 seconds. I finally had to use one of those long finger grabbers to get the nut started. I pushed the plunger to extend the fingers then let them grab the nut. I then wrapped painter’s tape around the fingers and the edge of the attached nut washer. With the grabber I got the nut started on the first or second try. I screwed it about half way on and pulled the fingers loose. I then used the fingers to grab the tape and pull it off the nut and washer. The best way seemed to be to use a clockwise twisting motion (so as not to accidentally unscrew the nut) and peel the tape off, rather than pulling it off. Finish tightening with the socket and extensions.
I know this is a slog to get through but it might help somebody.
Edited by Greg23, 11 September 2013 - 09:20 AM.